For many, November signals the approach of Thanksgiving, family and feasts, but for other college students, the holiday break marks the beginning of a 72-hour period to begin working on final projects.
In an attempt to change the tradition of frantically finishing projects at the last-minute, Alkek Library will be hosting Long Night @ Alkek Nov. 17 to encourage students to complete their work before the holiday break. The night will officially kick off at 5 p.m. and end at 2 a.m. featuring an interactive presentation from Brilliant Bobcats at 7 p.m.
“The night will help students get some work out of the way so that they can celebrate Thanksgiving,” said Sarah Naper, director of research and learning services. “That way they won’t have to eat turkey and cram for finals.”
The presentation will teach students about procrastination and help them identify their study problems, said Katie Palmer, office of retention and management and planning coordinator.
“We want students to learn a little bit more about what procrastination is, so they that can identify those behaviors in themselves,” Palmer said.
Students participating in the night will receive a wristband, and will be asked to write their goals on a large sheet of paper displayed on the first floor, Naper said.
Participating Bobcats will be asked to check in throughout the night. At the end of the night there will be prizes for students who have reached their goal.
Patricia Boucher, learning commons assistant, said there are going to be study breaks throughout the night to help students destress. When students walk in, they will receive Bubble Wrap to pop as a de-stresser. The major event will be a Bubble Wrap stomp on the first floor.
“The great part is that students can participate in as little or as much as they want,” Naper said.
Students from the department of Residential Life and Housing will host a game of Silent Library, as seen on MTV, where participants will compete in teams to do outrageous things without making a sound, Boucher said.
Some of the other study breaks include yoga and Tai Chi, Boucher said.
Palmer said many students have problems with procrastination. She said students have found the Brilliant Bobcats’ presentation to be helpful in the past. She said the interactive goal-setting is very important.
Boucher said there will be more to the night than just fun study breaks. An increased number of personal tutors will be available to help the students. This includes library assistants and Student Learning Assistance Center writing tutors.
“Nine a.m. the next morning is going to be an interesting time for us,” Boucher said.
Additionally, Room 105 will be open and staffed for students who need access to a computer lab. That means an additional 30-40 computers will be available for student use, Naper said.
Naper said she loves having so many students use the library during finals, but she is hoping this event will cut down on the number of students cramming last minute.
“We are excited people feel comfortable here,” Naper said. “Late-night studying is part of the college experience.”
The library can hold 14,000 people at a time and there are 2,990 seats, Boucher said.
The library is used by 12,000-14,000 students a day. Every floor of the library is full during finals week, Naper said.
“My first year here I came in one morning and had to step across two sleeping kids to get to my door,” Naper said.
She said finals week normally includes students camping out in the library and sleeping on floors or tables. While Naper is happy to see students working so hard, she hopes this event will allow them more free time over the break.
The idea behind the event came from a university in Germany, Naper said. Boucher said the idea has been spreading globally and is popular in Canada.
“We are sort of the forefront of libraries bringing this idea in the United States,” Boucher said.